A quick bit of searching the net and it works out some folk in London are taking 1gm of coke per day! ‘And the rest’ my dear friend Rob would have said. Sadly he died of heart disease in his prime, (yet still outlived his dad, who died of the same disease 10 years earlier) but not before introducing me to ‘Torture Garden’ and the ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ side of London in 2001. I did imbibe, saw the dangers, could easily have self destructed but jumped ship soon after. Phew! That was close and all for later.
Did you know one of the original recipes for Coca Cola contained ¼ gm of coke, per bottle?
It had been a quiet and reflective week until now. The news above was the kick up the bum I needed to jump into action, and an excuse for not going to the gym.
In this week’s blog I am taking you on a journey, flying an aeroplane. Imagine you are the plane; (ok you need to visit right brain a bit) and each waking hour is your journey from take off to landing.
I invite you to join me on such a daily plane journey, in fact one that the majority of you will take every week between Mondays and Fridays.
The alarm goes off.
What do you use each morning to fuel your plane?
Here are the top seven choices in Britain today:
1 Snort a line of coke.
The BBC news above says it all. You?
2 Pop a Modafinil.
If the survey above included all types of ‘rocket fuel’, Modafinil would be second by a mile. This new ‘coke for the brain’ is now the drug of choice for many traders in the City of London, not to mention the whole of our university system
According to the Guardian (Thursday 8th May 2014) 20% of all university students have taken it. Three clicks on the internet (it is legal to take by the way) and arrives by first class post two days later.
It is also used extensively by military and commercial airline pilots. You?
3 Sainsbury Max Strength Congestion Relief (Phenylephrine)
Speaking of university students, this is the breakfast pill for the academic world. Banned in Athletics, it’s easy to see why, as a shot of almost pure adrenalin kick starts the day giving you that confidence and zest to present your latest thesis.
I have been to my local Sainsbury three times to try and find a packet, the first two visits they were sold out. News from the underworld says it’s being experimented with to make Crystal Meth. . Breaking Bad eat your heart out. You?
4 Weatherspoons for a full English breakfast and a pint of Budweiser.
I love a Weatherspoons early in the morning. My surveying work takes me to many a strange high street at all times of the day. I could give some long winded surveyor speak about what I do but basically, I'm the bloke who puts the rent up. Any surveyors with a brain (I have met a few that leave them at home) immediately find the nearest drug store (No 5 Below) and also the best place to have a shit. Sorry but calling it a No 2 is daft. My Acupuncturist said ‘the day always works better when you dump your shit in the morning’. Sadly she is under the weather at the moment and I wish her a speedy recovery. She is a very insightful lady.
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes;
Weatherspoons is one of my favourite early morning haunts. I visited the one in Winchester four weeks ago walking from the station to the High Street. What was really scary is how many pints of larger were being consumed at 9.30am. Yikes! Have you ever had a pint for breakfast?
Yes you guessed it caffeine is No 5 and the nearest legal alternative to coke. ‘Death Wish’ according to the Torygraph (Daily Telegraph 20th March 2013) is now the world’s strongest coffee. It says;
‘An average tall cup of Starbucks coffee has 160 mg of caffeine, according to their website, which would mean that a 12 oz. cup of 'Death Wish Coffee' would hold 520 mg of caffeine...’ reviews from customers; with recommendations on its website claiming "I've died and gone to heaven" and others on Amazon stating "Great taste and nice kick to it".
Sound like a disguise for coke to me. After all they both work in a similar way, signalling our minds to release dopamine and adrenaline to create a pleasant feeling and get your plane off the ground.
I went into Costa Coffee, Sherborne at 4pm last week and asked for a skinny cappuccino (and a muffin) to eat in, as you do, so I could read the Daily Truth or maybe an older Mail on Sunday that had been left behind. The barista enquired to see if I would like to try their new blend of rocket fuel guaranteed their strongest to date. Maybe not ‘Death Wish’ but one cup of that and I would be still awake at 2am. I once had no coffee all day and this is what happened next;
The Goddess and I went to a wedding up North. We arrived Friday after a long day on the road with numerous caffeine fixes. Saturday was champagne and orange juice for breakfast. We partied all day and I even hit the dance floor with my mum, as you do. I was a light drinker in my 30’s and so went to bed sane and sober. It didn't even cross my mind that I had consumed no caffeine all day. By 2am Sunday morning I was convinced I was having a brain haemorrhage. The pain was unbelievable; I really have never known anything quite like it. We hunted everywhere, even to the car park, to find some paracetamol.
It was bloody caffeine withdrawal. Please don’t try this at home, its serious cold turkey. He ho.
6 Sugar, sugar and more sugar with a dollop of saturated fat.
There were 2.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK in 2011. It is estimated the figure will increase to 5 million in the next ten years and will make it our single biggest killer.
I remember ten years of lovingly walking into the “Canadian Muffin Company” on Islington High Street most mornings for my 500 cal muffin and a cappuccino. Hang on, I did that last week in Costa! Every high street has at least one cake shop tempting not just me but a high proportion of the population if the rise in diabetes is to be believed.
I've just had a lump of dark chocolate with hazel nuts so I'm saying no more.
The main ingredient in alcohol is sugar but it wouldn't help me write this.
7 And the rest.
This includes Yoga, hit the gym, swim or even walk your dog to wake up the endorphins and dopamine levels in your body.
Whatever method you choose your plane will take off (OK, the Weatherspoon lot are still on the ground) and you are on your daily flight path. Autopilot on and;
By 11 am your head will be starting to buzz and not from the turbulence. Your blood sugar levels will be falling as the breakfast binge wears off. The solution is simple and quick; caffeine, sugar and some saturated fats to top you up until lunch. Some have their second (Rob would have muttered 4th) line of coke.
Lunch and time for a refuel to keep you on course Carbohydrates, saturated fats (for some a pint or yet another line) and after the initial high it will leave you beautifully sedated when you should be starting your afternoon shift. Na, I will leave the autopilot on.
I was once at a RICS arbitration conference where the after lunch speaker, and the rest of us, all 150, were in hysterics listening to the bloke, in front of me, snoring for England.
By 4pm our bodies are running low on everything. Did you know that more chocolate is consumed between 4.30 and 6.30pm than in the rest of the day combined? Add caffeine and sugar (or a line mutters Rob) to provide a timely boost to carry you over the threshold and finish work in a totally wired up state. Modafinil has a 'half life' of 15 hours so if that's your fuel of choice you still have a while to go!
Oh and this plane of yours is still 3,000 ft in the air and will need to land at some point or else!
Bloody hell, we need to land it. How? That’s for next week.
And the point I am making is:
What goes up (your nose says the BBC News) must come down.
Have a good week in the sky.